Getting Hired in Copenhagen!
So you’ve finally started to settle into a routine at CBS and you are really enjoying it so far! That is, apart from the whole being a poor student thing. We’re all looking to make a little more money and there are a lot of student jobs out there. It can be especially difficult if you are an international student who doesn’t speak Danish as most jobs require it. If you are looking for a job in English, some good websites to check out are:
- CBS CareerGate (www.careergate.cbs.dk): We are all familiar with CBS CareerGate and the great thing about it is that the jobs are specifically for students. A lot of firms only advertise on CBS CareerGate because they want a student from CBS.
- LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com): If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, it is kind of like the Facebook of your professional life. Another great thing is that once you have filled out your profile and credentials you will see job ads that are relevant to your profile.
- Jobs in Copenhagen (www.jobsincopenhagen.com): Another great place for English speakers to look for a job, the only downside is that it is mostly aimed for professionals who are looking for a full-time job, but you never know!
- The Copenhagen Post (www.cphpost.dk): The only English newspaper in Copenhagen, many firms that want English speakers advertise jobs in this newspaper. Also, the newspaper offers part-time work in Danish to English translation.
Now the only problem is actually getting the job. As we all know, it is competitive even if there is only a small pool of applicants. So, what makes your resumé standout? Here is my advice on what to pay attention to and include in your resumé:
Template: If you have Microsoft Word, you can find a series of built in templates, but if you want to find something that represents you better, there are plenty of templates available online that can be downloaded for free. While it’s great that the template represents you, remember not to go overboard with lots of colors or an overly elaborate design. Most employers want something that is easy to read and not overly cluttered.
Grammar: Not too long ago I read an interesting blog post on Harvard Business Review about the importance of good grammar. It may seem irrelevant, but I think the article makes a strong case for why you should pay attention to grammar. I was once asked to go through hundreds of resumés and one of the first things I was advised was to be extra particular about spelling and grammar. At first I thought it was peculiar, that is until I realized almost every resumé that was sent in had either spelling or grammar errors. I think the saddest case was when an applicant had sent in their resumé, but in the section about what languages they “spoked”, they had spelled English with a c (Englich) instead of an s. Almost everyone knows a native English speaker, ask them to read through your resumé. Don’t know one? Make sure you run your resumé through spell check!
Experience: The most important thing in your resumé is highlighting your experience. It doesn’t matter if your previous job was something as simple as delivering newspapers. You had responsibilities and you fulfilled them. So instead of writing “I delivered newspapers” write something with a professional tone like, “I was responsible for the delivery of newspapers to 150 homes”. It is all about how you characterize you experience. If you have a serious approach to even the simplest tasks, chances are you take the same approach to any other challenge you are given.
Personal information: In Denmark, unlike other parts of the world, it is quite common that you include some personal information in your resumé. Such as what you like to do in your free time, who you live with and where you are from. Another decision is whether or not you need a picture in your resumé. Personally, I don’t think that you need to have a picture in your resumé. The employer should be looking at your qualifications, not the way you look. However, in Denmark most employers prefer that you have a photo of yourself.
Length: Try and keep your resumé short and to the point. One page is typically sufficient, but if you need more space, two pages is OK. Remember most companies receive a large number of applicants. Of course, you want yours to stand out – but not because it is incredibly lengthy.
Cover letters: Certain applications require that you write a cover letter. You can have part of your cover letter written, but make sure you tailor it to the job application. A really unfortunate scenario would be for an employer to receive a generic letter that says “Dear XX, I am interested in job you are offering”. It is much better to address someone specifically such as “Dear Mr. Andersson, I am interested in the marketing intern position that you are offering”. This shows that you have taken the time apply for that specific position. You should also thoroughly read the job description beforehand and explain which specific skills you think that you can contribute and what experiences you have that make you a valid candidate for this position. Tell your potential employer what specific you value you can add to their team, rather than just listing everything that you are good at.
Good luck job hunting everyone!